Astros vs Dodgers – World Series Pick for October 31st
If there was any doubt coming into the World Series that the Astros and Dodgers are the two best teams in baseball, that doubt has been erased. What we’ve seen through the first five games of the Fall Classic is two heavyweights trading blows, going back and forth until one finally hits the deck. So far, both teams are still fighting.
Houston picked up a huge 13-12 win on an Alex Bregman walk-off to win Game 5, sending the Astros to the brink of the franchise’s first-ever World Series title. The Astros will have a chance to win it with Justin Verlander on the mound in Game 6, which is exactly the way GM Jeff Lunhow drew it up when he acquired the right-hander back in the wee hours of August 31.
Verlander has essentially been peerless since coming to Houston. The former American League MVP went 5-0 in five regular season starts with an ERA of just 1.06. In five postseason appearances, including four starts, Verlander is 4-0 and the Astros have won all five games in which he has pitched.
Since 1912, Verlander’s 0.46 ERA in potential series-clinching games is the lowest of any pitcher in postseason history. The Astros have to feel pretty good about their situation tonight. JV was rolling along in Game 2, though he exited the game after just six innings after allowing a pair of home runs to Joc Pederson and Corey Seager. Those would be the only two hits Verlander allowed all night, and Houston wound up rallying to win in extra innings.
The Dodgers will counter with Rich Hill, who has had a short leash thus far in postseason play. Hill has pitched just 13 innings to this point across three starts, and he hasn’t gone more than five in any outing. Manager Dave Roberts has been eager to get into his own bullpen, though it’ll be interesting to see how he plays that tonight. The Astros have been crushing L.A.’s relievers, and one would imagine most of those arms are exhausted at this point in the season. If Hill is pitching well, we could see him pitch deeper than he has in any other game in these playoffs.
He was solid in Game 2, though there were a few hiccups. Hill wound up surrendering just one run in his four frames, though he allowed another three hits and three more walks, to boot.
The Astros smell blood in the water. They did what they needed to do by taking two of the three games at Minute Maid Park over the weekend, and now is the best chance they will ever have to capture what has been an elusive championship. We could be in store for yet another wild, crazy ride, but we like the Astros to get the job done tonight with Verlander leading the way.